New system set to tackle big building issues

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Product demand expected to create new niche

A New Zealand company has launched the first insulated weatherproofing system in Australasia, specifically designed to tackle our biggest building industry issues — cold and leaky homes.

The revolutionary Aridon system, unveiled at a concept home in Palmerston North recently, turns traditional ideas about insulation inside out — literally.

The rigid water-resistant panels interlock together on the outside of a building’s frame to form a seamless blanket of insulation and weatherproofing.

This does away with the need for traditional building wrap, cavity battens, insulation and tapes/sealants. External cladding is then placed over this insulated, weatherproof layer.

Demand for the product is expected to create a new market niche, especially among leaky home owners and those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes.

Aridon enables people to remain living in their homes, warm and dry, while they are re-clad, among a myriad of other benefits.

The product also has the potential to significantly speed up the construction of new residences by four to six weeks.

The product is the brainchild of Palmerston North-based structural engineer Stephen Pinkney and product developer Christina Gomes, who carefully studied the underlying issues causing cold and leaky homes in New Zealand when developing and patenting their product especially for the Australasian market.

“New Zealanders deserve a better quality of insulation and Aridon turns the traditional idea of insulating and weatherproofing houses firmly on its head,” Mr Pinkney says.

“Our product can typically be installed on a simple 200sq m dwelling within two days. This speed of construction, coupled with the insulated rigid sheathing and temporary weather protection benefits, means building teams can complete houses faster than ever before, with significantly less waste.

“This allows people to get their homes delivered on time and with a much reduced risk of weather interruptions and delays,” he says.

The product’s benefits have already generated interest from a number of architects and home owners who are looking for cost-effective, high-performing insulation and weatherproofing solutions.

Aridon panels are made from high density, water repellent expanded polystyrene. If, by chance, any water does get beyond the exterior cladding, Aridon is designed to ensure it drains below the building’s foundations, keeping the building frame completely dry, even in extreme weather.

The system also has a series of custom-designed auxiliary components, such as window flashings, which ensure parts of the building that are prone to leaking have a secondary line of defence.

Ms Gomes says because the Aridon panels lock together to provide a seamless insulating air barrier, they significantly improve the air quality within a building, reducing the risk of respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

She says the product’s superior insulation R-values also maintain a stable warm temperature inside the home which will reduce a household’s energy requirements and power bills.

100% recyclable

“New Zealanders have put up with cold, leaky houses for far too long. Aridon will help keep families cool in summer, warm in winter, and dry all year round,” Ms Gomes says.

“The panels are 100% recyclable, and have a guaranteed insulation life of 50 years.”

The system complies with the relevant New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) requirements.

It is an alternative building solution compliant with the performance requirements of NZBC E2 External Moisture for up to Extra High wind zones and NZBC H1 Energy Efficiency.

For more information visit www.aridon.co.nz.

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